LinkedIn has gone from alternative professional networking to career must have. For people who want to grow a business or get ahead in the professional world, LinkedIn can be a fertile ground for leads, contacts and new ideas. As the LinkedIn community has grown (it currently boasts 467 million users*) the platform has expanded and adapted to meet the needs of its users and improve how people connect. And most recently, LinkedIn unveiled a number of changes to how Groups are experience, which we’ve broken down here to the five things you need to know if you want to make the most of LinkedIn.
1. It’s All About the Groups
While Groups aren’t new in the LinkedIn community, they have received a makeover. Groups can now incorporate images and the tagging of members within the group. Simply put: It’s a more social feel with a cleaner and intuitive user interface. The hope is that these changes will make groups easier to use and more enjoyable to follow and interact with.
2. Privacy and Credentials Are Now a Must
Groups have been elevated a bit thanks to some vetting procedures put in place by the LinkedIn team. In order to create a group, your own credentials will have to be up to date … and up to scratch. Once you’ve created your group, you can opt to have it be an Unlisted Group. This makes the group private and prevents searches via Google and other search engines from accessing it. This makes groups more secure and gives members the ability to speak freely and share ideas through network brainstorming.
3. Mobile Groups
LinkedIn has also launched an app to go along with their new and improved groups. This will make accessing and interacting with groups easier. Members can share insights and information on the go, increasing the overall value of groups.
4. Job Seeking on the Side
There are plenty of people who look for new opportunities or fresh talent through group discussions. In the old version of groups, these job-seeking posts could distract from the main topics of the group discussion. LinkedIn has solved the problem by adding a separate tab within groups for discussions about jobs.
5. Spammers Beware
As part of the effort to makes groups a place where professionals can simply get down to business, spammers are officially put on notice. The new LinkedIn groups give every member the power to actively act against spammers. Members can penalize suspected spammers, essentially giving them a warning. Spammers can also be booted from groups entirely.